Jason DeRusha: Lessons in New Media

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Posts Tagged ‘KARE’

How TV Stations Should Set Up Employee Blogs

Posted by derushaj on August 18, 2008

I’ve been obsessively watching the Olympics.  There’s a commercial for KARE11.com performed by Mayda which some of my coworkers think is horrible, but I think is kind cool.  Mayda raps about several of KARE’s high profile bloggers, and invites me to check the blogs.

So I typed in kare11.com/blogs and found nothing.  The real URL is kare11.com/blog.  OK.

They promote Sven, Diana Pierce, KARE-mudgeon, and Perk.  I thought I’d see what the last several blog entries entailed.

Sven: 12 days ago and one month ago.  Come on Sven, you could at least blog weekly.
KARE-mudgeon: last updated one month ago.  Enough said.
Diana (Lady Di): After quite a delay in blogging, she’s back.  Three days ago, and two months ago.
Perk: He’s done an awesome job from the Olympics.  The KARE web effort for the event has also been impressive.  This is Perk’s Olympic blog.

So what’s my point?  TV stations should resist the temptation to have everyone in the world blog.  Instead, pick a few people who would be engaging and drive page views, and promote them.  Not just online with banner ads, but consider having an on-air promotional campaign.  Ideal blog topics: politics, consumer, sports, local events.  If you’re in Denver, it’s skiing.  If you’re in Minnesota: Maybe it’s fishing.

In the KARE example: Perk is nailing it.  At my station, WCCO, Terri Gruca struggled at first finding her voice in blogging, but now it’s a great stop for deals and consumer tips.  (if anyone should think I’m picking on KARE, Mark Rosen has a WCCO blog that should be put out of its misery, considering the last post was from May 29)

Group blogs? Sometimes work, but generally they result in no one taking charge, and a lack of unique voice.  That’s a recipe for disaster online.

Why not have everyone blog? No one likes doing extra work that isn’t supported and isn’t viewed.  This shouldn’t just be an ego stroke.  This should be a new way of telling stories and engaging viewers.  Getting newsroom employees motivated to work online is a huge challenge.  The “Everyone will blog” approach is more destructive than the “no one will blog” approach in my view.  Crappy blogs lead to viewer/web user disappointment.  You don’t get a lot of do-overs. No blogs is simply a missed opportunity.

Ed in the comments recommends CONSISTENCY.  I couldn’t agree more.  Publish daily, weekly, monthly, whatever.  Just be consistent.  I tend to think you should post multiple times a week.


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